|By Aida Ahmed, Las Vegas
SunMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Aug. 31, 2011--After nine months of renovations, the Plaza downtown is ready to reopen it's doors Thursday, boasting 1,037 remodeled hotel rooms, a revamped 80,000-square-foot casino floor and new hotel lobby.
Michael Pergolini, vice president of hotel operations, said that when the Plaza closed in November, the renovation was not expected to be as extensive as it turned out.
"When we started planning, it was to do a $20 million renovation of hotel, and that turned into $45 million for the whole thing," Pergolini said.
Patrons who have gambled at the 40-year-old casino on Main Street will be taken aback by drastic changes throughout the building, Pergolini said. "Everything that we've done is considerably different than it used to be," he said.
The Plaza, which offered a sneak peek to the media today, features new furniture, carpeting and wall coverings, all acquired at a discounted price from the halted Fontainebleau project. The hotel's original chandeliers also have been restored.
When the old Plaza closed, more than 400 people were laid off. But after a job fair this summer, 800 people were hired, 300 of them returning staff, Pergolini said.
Along with its new decor, the Plaza is now home to restaurants including Hash House a Go Go, Island Sushi and Hawaiian Grill, Zaba's Mexican Grill, GiGi's Cupcakes, Cafelatte coffee bar and, opening in November, Oscar's -- former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman's steakhouse.
The casino's existing 600-seat main showroom will be joined by the Swingers Club, a dueling piano bar surrounded by a nine-hole Las Vegas-themed mini golf course.
Cantor Gaming will operate a race and sports book and add mobile gaming early next year.
There are also plans to eventually refurbish the rooftop pool and outdoor recreation area.
The Plaza is offering rooms starting at $44 on weekdays and $109 on weekends.
(c)2011 the Las Vegas Sun (Las Vegas, Nev.)
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